Internet Use Policy

Columbus Junction Public Library Internet Use Policy

1. The Library provides resources in a wide variety of formats to meet the cultural, informational, recreational, and educational needs of the diverse, multicultural community it serves. The internet is an integral part of the resources available to assist Library patrons in finding the information they need.

2. The internet is a global electronic network. The Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from use of its computer network or from its connection to other internet services. The internet is a continually evolving resource and the information and links on the internet change rapidly and unpredictably. The Library does not control or monitor the information available through the internet and assumes no responsibility or guarantee for its content, accuracy, timeliness or the method or manner in which the information, once obtained, is used. Furthermore, use of all Library internet resources shall be subject to all provisions of the Library's policies on the matter, which are incorporated by reference as part of this Internet Use Policy.

3. The internet is unregulated and is not otherwise censored, filtered, or screened. Some patrons may find information and/or materials that they feel are controversial, unlawful, or personally objectionable. Internet contributors represent various points of view and may post information or material of a controversial nature. Access to the internet is permitted at the sole risk and discretion of the patron. The Library cannot guarantee that children's internet access will be limited to only these sites and assumes not responsibility for sites that may be accessed. Patrons should carefully evaluate the information they find when using this resource.

Because the library has received federal funding for technology, the Children's Internet Protection Act (federal statute) will be followed, which means the internet will be filtered for pornographic material involving children, which is considered a criminal offense for accessing, owning, or viewing. Filtering will be turned on at all times, on all library owned devices. Patrons connecting to library wifi are expected, based on terms of the computer use and internet policies, to follow said policies and not access this type of content while accessing the library's wifi. If through the process of accessing internet, patrons are unable to access what they wish to see, patrons may request library staff to suspend filtering on a specific computer/device for a specific reason, such as research or general knowledge, as filtering systems are not perfect. For example, should a patron request to view information on Super Bowl thirty (also identified as XXX), and find that images are unavailable, staff could remove filtering so the patron is able to access this material. Patrons should speak to the staff person on duty and request the filtering be turned off or explain the difficulty in accessing what they wish to. Staff will then assist patrons in turning off the filtering (which can be done remotely via website access or on the console computer/director's computer). Filtering will then be turned back on after the user's session or an agreed upon time limit.

4. The Library does not condone, authorize, or permit any person to send or receive any materials over the internet that may be classified as indecent, obscene, incitement to riot, or which have otherwise been declared unlawful or unconstitutional by any state, local, or federal court of law. Illegal acts by patrons involving Library resources may be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal officials.

5. The Library reserves the right to revoke Library or internet privileges for violation of these or other Library or City policies and procedures or of any local, state, or federal law.

6. All patrons shall expressly assume the risk of receiving incorrect, inaccurate, defective, fraudulent, or unlawful information while accessing the internet through any equipment or serve offered by the Library. Patrons accessing any service via the Internet which has a cost involved, or if a patron incurs other types of costs, the patron accessing such a service will be responsible for those costs. The library cannot guarantee that software downloaded from the internet will be free of computer viruses. Anti-virus software installed on the Library's computers may not find every virus. The Library is not responsible for any loss of information or damage to personal disks or storage devices when downloading. The Library expressly disclaims any liability for injuries and/or damages of any kind whatsoever, including consequential damages, arising out of the use of the internet, the obtaining of any materials from or over any internet connection and the fitness for use or purpose of any materials, programs, or information obtained through access to the internet.

7. The Library staff will not assume the role of parent/guardian and cannot monitor children's use of the internet or any information or materials obtained through such use. Parents/legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding which Library resources are appropriate for their own children. The Library is not responsible for enforcing any restrictions which a parent or guardian may place on a minor's use of Library's resources. Parents/legal guardians are strongly advised to guide their children in the use of the internet, supervise their children's internet sessions, and inform them about materials they should not use.

8. While the Library affirms and acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of parents/guardians to monitor and determine their children's access to Library materials and resources, including those available through the internet, the Library has adopted certain guidelines designed to assist in the safe and effective use of these resources by all patrons.

9. The accessing or use of the internet through any equipment or service offered by the City of Columbus Junction and the Library shall constitute acknowledgement of this waiver and disclaimer and shall be deemed acceptance of its terms and conditions. The Library's Computer Use Policy is incorporated by reference.

Computer and Internet Use Guidelines

To achieve an atmosphere conducive to the best use of its resources, the Library has developed the following guidelines regarding the use of public computers. By using a public computer/internet workstation at the Library you agree to the terms of the Library's computer and internet use policies and the following guidelines:

1. Availability

a. Workstations are available during all open hours

b. use is based on a first-come, first-served basis

c. there is no charge to use a workstation or view the internet

d. time limits will be imposed by staff should demand warrant this

e. there is a limit of one person per workstation with no more than two by agreement with staff

f. electronic mail accounts are not offered by the Library

2. Reservations

a. private study room computers may be reserved on a first-come, first served basis and can be reserved in person, via electronic means, or via phone

b. patrons may not reserve workstations for others

3. Use

a. use of a workstation is governed by the Library's patron behavior policy

b. the same rules of conduct which govern the use of all Columbus Junction Public facilities apply to the use of the Library's workstation

c. by using a workstation or accessing wifi, patrons are consenting to following computer and internet use policies

d. use workstations with care

e. make no attempt to fix problems. Immediately report any problems to Library staff.

f. patrons may download to a storage device that they provide

g. patrons may not use workstations for any illegal activity or criminal purpose or place any material on the internet related to any illegal activity or criminal purpose.

h. it is the responsibility of the patron to respect copyright laws and licensing agreements and to assume responsibility for payment of fees for any fee-based service. Responsibility for all consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user. The Library disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.

i. some features may not be available on workstations. Audio capability, chat rooms, and sites that collect personal information (such as ones that employ cookies) are examples of special features that may not be available.

j. patrons must end their session and leave the terminal when asked to do so by authorized Library staff, even if they have not completed their access session.

k. upon completion of an Internet access session, a patron may be required to wait 30 minutes before signing up for another session

l. patrons are requested to return the computer to its home state of the Windows desktop leaving no application open for confidentiality purposes

m. no food or drinks at the workstations or in the library

n. The library offers free wireless internet service. The network name and password are available at the circulation desk.  Security for personal wireless devices is the responsibility of the owner of the device. CJPL wireless service may not be used for unauthorized, illegal, or unethical purposes. No one may send or receive or display text or graphics that may reasonably be construed as obscene or violent.

o. CJPL has wireless devices available for use. Devices are available on a first come, first served basis, and users are expected to abide by the CJPL Internet Policy while using these items as well.

4. Consideration of Others

a. patrons should be aware that they are working in a public environment shared by people of all ages and sensibilities

b. patrons may not display images, sounds, or messages in a way that will negatively affect those who find them objectionable or offensive

c. patrons should be considerate of internet sounds and visual which might disrupt the ability of other Library customers to use the Library and its resources

d. patrons may not engage in any activity which is deliberately and maliciously offensive, libelous, or slanderous

e. patrons may not invade the privacy of others or engage in any activity that is harassing, defamatory, or threatening, or receive or display graphics which may reasonably be construed as obscene as defined by law

f. the Library cannot guarantee privacy when using the internet

5. Printing

a. printers are available for a cost per page

b. patrons should check the length of a document before printing it. Many pages are very long and may print multiple pages

6. Library Staff

a. limits on staff time allow the Library to offer only brief one-on-one assistance

b. reserves the right to end a session at any time if it is creating a disturbance

c. reserves the right to impose age restrictions on internet capable computers

Other Important Information

The internet is a global computer network which allows millions of people to communicate and share information. It is also a reference tool with constantly changing resources. These resources provide access to a wide variety of government, academic, cultural, scientific, educational, business, and recreational information. The internet is one of many resources available at the Library. The Library has chosen to make the internet available to the public because of its value as a reference and educational tool. 

1. Children at the internet: Parents are responsible for their own children's use of all Library materials, including the internet. The library staff does not take the place of a parent and cannot monitor children's use of the internet or any information or materials obtained through such use. To ensure a positive and productive experience, parents and their children should explore the internet together. Parents need to be aware that not all sites are appropriate for their children.

2. Internet Safety

a. Establish your own family rules and guidelines for internet use.

b. Teach your children never to give out their names, addresses, phone numbers, or other personal, identifying, or family information.

c. Get to know the sites your children use by viewing them.

d. Encourage discussion about all sites including those that make your children feel uncomfortable.

e. Make sure your children never arrange a face-to-face or telephone meeting with another internet user, regardless of how "nice" or "friendly" the user may seem.

f. Teach your children never to respond to messages or bulletin board items that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, threatening, or make them feel uncomfortable.

g. If you or your children become aware of the transmission, use, or viewing of child pornography while online, immediately report it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by calling 1-800-843-5678.

h. Choose sites wisely. While the internet makes a world of resources available to users, not all information sources on the internet provide complete, accurate, or current information. Due to the unstructured nature of the internet, some search results may be misleading and/or inappropriate to your needs or your child's needs. Patrons can learn to be wise information consumers by asking the following questions about each internet site:

Usefulness: Is the site relevant to the search? Is this the best site to answer the question?

Reliability: What is the authority, expertise, and intention of the author? Does the site present facts or opinions? Is the source of the information given? Is the site an advertising tool? Has the site been recommended by a reliable source?

Appropriateness: Who is the intended audience? Is the content appropriate for children or adults?

Timeliness: How up-to-date is the information? When was the site last updated?

Organization: Is the information clearly presented? Is the format easy to follow?

Cost: Are there fees? Is the information available elsewhere at nor charge or for a lower price?

Adopted 04/2000; Revised 06/2002; Reviewed 03/2009; Reviewed 01/2016; Amended 07/2019


This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.